BAR HARBOR — A new restaurant with plenty of spice and a shop featuring recycled bags are moving into downtown Bar Harbor this spring. In addition, a favorite old sports pub is getting a makeover under new ownership, a new “glampground” is open and one of the town’s oldest companies is expanding its holdings.
Royal Indian restaurant will open its doors at 39 Rodick Street in early May at the former Morning Glory Bakery location. A new deck for outside seating will expand the dining area in the summer months.
Owner Diwas Thapa said the year-round restaurant will serve “fresh and authentic Indian food” seven days a week in the summer, and five days a week in the winter.
Thapa is originally from Nepal and grew up with home-cooked Nepalese-style Indian food. He has worked in restaurants since coming to the U.S. His family owns Indian restaurants in Canada.
Indian food is known for “lots of flavor and spices,” Thapa said. As is standard for Indian cuisine, the restaurant will offer many choices for vegetarians and vegans. Menu items will also include chicken, lamb, and seafood dishes. Gluten-free choices will be offered as well.
Over on Firefly Lane near the Village Green, Portland-based business Sea Bags will open a seasonal gift shop on May 10. The company designs, creates and sells tote bags using recycled sails. Sea Bags was founded in 1999, and over the years has expanded to open gift shops in coastal towns up and down the East Coast.
Paul Gori, the company’s vice president of retail stores, said Sea Bags had been looking for retail space to open a Bar Harbor shop for years.
“When you think of Maine, you think of Bar Harbor,” Gori said. As a coastal community with a sailing history and a robust tourist season, he said, Bar Harbor “fits the criteria for a Sea Bags store.”
Bags sold in the store are made in Portland with recycled sails, New England rope, and thread from “one of the last remaining thread manufacturers in the U.S.,” according to the company’s website.
Gori said that since its inception, Sea Bags has saved over 700 tons of sail material from ending up in landfills.
Sea Bags welcomes the donation of old sails to give them a second life, and offers donors a bag made from the sail in return.
Little A’s Sports Bar & Pizzeria on Cottage Street is undergoing a makeover and menu change under new ownership, and getting a new name. As of May 1, the remodeled restaurant is now called Tailgate Sports & Pizza.
New owner Greg Duperey, who also owns The Stadium pub on Main Street, said popular features will stay the same. Like Little A’s, Tailgate will be open year-round. Pizza will still be on the menu, and delivery will continue. Open Mic and Karaoke nights at the bar will continue.
The new menu includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers, and chicken wings. Tailgate will be adding televisions and an extra pool table. The restaurant has been cleaned and repainted, and a “new draft beer system with new beer lines” has been added. “Everything is brand new,” Duperey said.
Tucked away off Route 3 down quiet Seabury Drive, Woods of Eden Glampgound is set to open May 17. Glamping, explained owner Nancy Sweeney, is what you get “if you take camping and glamorize it a little bit.
“It’s very big in Europe,” Sweeney said, “starting probably a decade ago. It comes in all shapes and sizes.”
Woods of Eden features large canvas and wood tents on platforms. Tents are far enough from each other that guests have privacy, Sweeney said, but close enough that “you’re not in the woods all by yourself.”
The European-made tents are built for comfort: the canvas is dual-layered to keep the tents from getting hot in the sun. Campers sleep on beds instead of camp mats; linens are provided. Tents have indoor and outdoor cooking facilities, as well as full bathrooms with hot and cold running water. One tent has a ramp and other wheelchair-accessible features.
“I wanted to create a really tranquil place where people could get away without technology,” Sweeney said, mentioning that though the tents are equipped with wi-fi, there is no TV.
On May 4, Acadia Corp. plans to open Island Trading Company at 105 Main Street, the former location of West End Drug Store.
Dave Woodside, Acadia Corp.’s president, said he was approached by Mike and Stacey Gilfillian last summer when they began making plans to retire and close West End.
“While we were sorry to see West End close, we were pleased to negotiate a long-term lease with Mike and Stacey that will provide them a market rate retirement income,” said Woodside, “while affording us the opportunity to renovate the space into an attractive retail shop in the center of downtown Bar Harbor.”
The new shop will offer a mix of apparel, footwear, and gifts with a focus on women’s sportswear, jewelry and accessories. The shop will be open seven days a week from May through mid-November.
Acadia Corp. traces its history on MDI to 1932 when it was formed by a group of local business and professional people to provide services on the summit of Cadillac Mountain. For 80 years, the company operated concessions at Cadillac, Jordan Pond and Thunder Hole until the National Park Service awarded that contract to another company.
Since then, Acadia Corporation has expanded its retail presence, adding shops in Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor. It also operates the Asticou Hotel in Northeast Harbor.